After Suvendu Adhikari and Jitendra Tiwari, TMC MLA Silbhadra Datta resigns from party
In yet another blow to West Bengal chief minister-Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) ahead of next year’s assembly elections, another MLA resigned from the party on Friday, news agency ANI has reported. Silbhadra Datta, TMC MLA from Barrackpore assebly constituency in North 24 Parganas, tendered his resignation from the party.
Datta’s resignation comes just a day after another MLA, Jitendra Tiwari, resigned from the TMC. Also on Thursday, former minister and heavyweight leader Suvendu Adhikari, too, had resigned from Banerjee’s party. The two are among a host of TMC leaders who are allegedly in touch with the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and are likely to join it in the next few days. Adhikari, in fact, is expected to join the BJP on Saturday, when Union home minister and former BJP president Amit Shah visits the poll-bound state.
In next year’s elections, the BJP is aiming at denying Banerjee a third consecutive term as the chief minister and, in process, form its maiden government in the state. As such, several top party leaders, including national president JP Nadda, state in-charge Kailash Vijayvargiya, youth wing chief Tejaswi Surya etc. have campaigned in West Bengal in recent days. Nadda’s convoy was attacked last week, allegedly by TMC supporters; while Nadda was unharmed, Vijayvargiya sustained injuries which led to his security being upgraded.
The incident has triggered a tussle between the Centre, where the BJP is in power, and the Banerjee-led West Bengal government.